Seeks market access for pharma, agriculture, IT and buffalo meat

India on Tuesday raised the issue of heavy trade imbalance with China and sought immediate steps to facilitate Indian exports of pharmaceutical and agricultural products, buffalo meat and Information Technology (IT) services.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, who is in Brunei to attend economic summits, drew the attention of Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng to India’s pending requests.

Both the sides agreed that the working group on trade and economic cooperation should meet in September along with another working group on trade in services and trade statistics to implement the decision taken by the two countries. They also discussed about Joint Economic Group (JEG) meet likely to be scheduled in late October in Beijing. Mr. Sharma informed Mr Gao about India’s preparedness for further engagements in the three working groups constituted during the Prime Ministerial Meeting earlier this year. The working group on the trade and economic cooperation is mandated to prepare an action oriented work plan for improving India’s trade imbalance with China.

Mr. Gao assured Mr. Sharma that China would make every effort to facilitate imports from India. Mr. Sharma also sought Chinese investment in manufacturing in the National Manufacturing Investment Zones. It was decided that they will finalise the details about investments in various sectors during their next meeting in October.

In the last JEG Meeting with China on August 27, 2012 in New Delhi, Mr. Sharma had handed over to the Chinese Minister the roadmap for enhanced cooperation between India and China in IT& ITeS and the pharmaceuticals sector. ``A favourable action in the matter is needed from Chinese side. India and China have many complementarities in these sectors particularly in IT and ITeS sector and the Pharmaceutical sector. Joining hands in these sectors would prove a win-win situation for both the countries,’’ the statement quoted Mr. Sharma saying. During January- June 2013 India’s export to China stood at $5.42 billion whereas imports were $24.70 billion.

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